A recent survey revealed that 95% of people living with lung disease who access a community pharmacy-based service to manage their condition consider the support it provides them with as ‘essential’ or something they ‘could not live without’.
The survey, conducted by the Taskforce for Lung Health, looked at how over 2,100 people with lung disease use community pharmacies to help manage their conditions.
Three-quarters (75%) of respondents who use community pharmacies said they value pharmacy services because of their proximity to home. Others commented that they appreciated the convenient opening hours and the fact appointments were not necessary.
Just over a quarter (26%) of people also said they find their local pharmacy easier to access than their GP.
However, the survey revealed that one in four patients (25%) suffering with lung conditions believed their condition was too specialist for a pharmacist, and a fifth would prefer to use another service such as their GP.
It also found that one in four (25%) patients with lung issues were not currency aware of the services they could potentially access in community pharmacies.
Almost half (48%) of respondents were not using an inhaler technique service, with a quarter of those saying they were unaware these services existed.
The Taskforce called for community pharmacies to be more widely recognised as a vital resource for people with lung conditions. They also suggested that more investment should be put into community pharmacies so they can expand their offer to provide more care at a local level and take pressure off the NHS.
Commenting on the findings, Alison Cook, chair of the Taskforce for Lung Health, said:’People with lung conditions have told us loud and clear that community pharmacies act as a lifeline for their care, but there is still work to do in making the wide variety of services available known to everyone.
‘Investing in the services offered by community pharmacies would better meet the needs of people with lung disease and reduce the pressures faced by the NHS during the pandemic and beyond.’
She added: ‘It is now vital that everyone is made aware of the variety of services pharmacies offer and that further integration of local pharmacies into the NHS becomes a priority.’